Podcast: Geek to de-geeked and back again with Erik Dasque

Erik Dasque

VP Of Engineering at FormAssembly

Podcast – Episode 61:
Geek to de-geeked and back again 

The story of a compassionate leader and the success that follows him

Erik Dasque joins us for another episode of CTO Confessions, where he shares his intriguing journey of becoming a geek, de-geeking, and geeking up again. He shares his thoughts on the absolute importance of actively designing teams on an ongoing basis. Also, retaining and developing one’s skills in the technical space can hugely serve one’s tech leadership.

You can bulldoze your way to the top, or you can try a gentler approach. Both are fine, but the difference is in what you’ll have as options when you reach the peak. The quickest way to the top is not always the one that will keep you there. Work in a way that suits your qualities.

From how he started his journey, what it means to be a leader in the tech industry, all the way to how feeling inadequate in management position is totally normal, and how to handle and distribute responsibility and pressure. 

Key takeaways from the podcast are: 

  • How to hire for success 
  • The importance of diversity in organizations 
  • The power of being a compassionate leader 

TLDR: Straight to the point
(Quick Links)

We all live busy lives, and sometimes a long podcast is too much of a time-footprint for our busy schedules. So, to help you get to the bit you’re more interested in, use our table of contents below. Quick links to help you get straight to the point.

Transform your technology organization with IT Labs teams.
Reach out to us.


Podcast: Fighting for Fair with Mike Villalobos

Mike Villalobos

Director of Engineering at Fair.com

Podcast – Episode 60:
Fighting for Fair 

How making all the right chess moves in business can ensure satisfaction and efficiency

Aside from proficiency in his or her field, a tech leader must also know how to treat people fairly to get the best out of them, but also empower them. As Mike Villalobos, Director of Engineering at Fair.com, shared with us in this episode, a leader must be able to see the furthest, but never forget the valuable input of those around him.

A high-performance team is not just about everyone delivering day-in day-out, they also need to feel they belong there, to see themselves doing it in that company for years to come – that’s the magic of leadership.

In this episode, you’ll hear about his baby steps in the tech world, how his go-to attitude helped him grow, and how chess helped him become a better manager, and have a clearer perspective on business 

Key takeaways from this episode: 

  • Transparency and open communication create a good working environment and motivates people  
  • How being proficient in a skill doesn’t automatically make you a leader  
  • Why your team might have a better solution to a problem – trust them and listen to them  

TLDR: Straight to the point
(Quick Links)

We all live busy lives, and sometimes a long podcast is too much of a time-footprint for our busy schedules. So, to help you get to the bit you’re more interested in, use our table of contents below. Quick links to help you get straight to the point.

Transform your technology organization with IT Labs teams.
Reach out to us.


Podcast: Maintaining balance among teams with Cedric Fabianski

Cedric Fabianski

Co-Founder and CTO at Bearer.sh

Podcast – Episode 59:
Maintaining balance among teams  

How to measure tech teams and give the appropriate control

Any techie will tell you that APIs revolutionized the way we go about developing software, but with all the regulations bestowed upon the IT world, it’s only the best ones that meet the light of day and make a change in our everyday lives. Meet Cedric Fabianski, Co-founder and CTO at Bearer, a techie with a burning passion for entrepreneurship and leading teams – by striking the right balance.

Being CTO is about losing ownership, losing control. It’s about giving responsibility to your team and saying, you are the best people in the room, you’re the smartest, because this is what I want for my team.

In our episode with Cedric, we listened carefully as he shared his experience in IT – from his beginning in the world of IT, through creating and leading teams, all the way to navigating his way through customer and client feedback. 

Our key takeaways from this podcast: 

  • Why working remotely can help increase transparency and help improve teams 
  • How leaders can find their way through something unknown by asking the right questions  
  • How losing control is part of leadership, and is actually desirable 

TLDR: Straight to the point
(Quick Links)

We all live busy lives, and sometimes a long podcast is too much of a time-footprint for our busy schedules. So, to help you get to the bit you’re more interested in, use our table of contents below. Quick links to help you get straight to the point.

Transform your technology organization with IT Labs teams.
Reach out to us.


Podcast: Tech fueled collaboration & efficiency in the film and TV production insustry with Stephen Tallamy

Stephen Tallamy

CTO at EditShare

Podcast – Episode 58:
Tech fueled collaboration & efficiency in the film and TV production industry
 

The tech and tech leadership behind making remote production editing smooth

We all consume TV shows and movies to feed our entertainment-hungry minds. And it’s no wonder why – the TV and movie production industries vie for our hearts and minds through elegant storytelling, immersing us in worlds that capture our hearts and expand our minds. Well, now we get to look under the covers of the industry, shining a light on a particularly important and unsung hero of this industry – the art of editing.

Leading is more about listening, rather than talking and giving directions and instructions. Listening to your team will enable them to trust their own ideas, to be confident in it, and that’s how you get them to produce at the highest level.

We speak to Stephen Tallamy, the CTO of EditShare, a company that works on simplifying editing and storytelling. Particularly as we have been jolted into a remote work and the boundaries of the studio have moved further into the virtual space.

Stephen shares the tech challenges and solutions in this industry along with his tech leadership tips:

  • How EditShare is making it an art in simplifying story telling through remote editing
  • The spectrum of tech leaders (Clarity on tech leadership names)
  • Riding the elevator (Communication skills for the organization spectrum)

TLDR: Straight to the point
(Quick Links)

We all live busy lives, and sometimes a long podcast is too much of a time-footprint for our busy schedules. So, to help you get to the bit you’re more interested in, use our table of contents below. Quick links to help you get straight to the point.

Transform your technology organization with IT Labs teams.
Reach out to us.


Podcast: The power of strategies and visionary thinking with Wayne Strydom

Wayne Strydom

CIO & CTO at The Virtulab

Podcast – Episode 57:
The power of strategies and visionary thinking 

How being in the right frame of mind can guide you and your team through any obstacle or challenge

A mechanical engineer turned tech-wizz, Wayne Strydom is not your typical techie with roots set in coding or other IT discipline. He says it’s all about having the bigger picture in mind and understand systems and how they interact and function, and considering the success he’s had as the CTO & CIO at Virtulab – we trust him.

Building teams based just on skill and talent is a recipe for failure! Surround yourself and your employees with characters, especially the kind that can stick it out when the going gets tough!

We sat down for a long, data-rich conversation with him, where dived deep into every aspect of his journey as a tech leader – from assembling and developing teams, all the way to his wishes which include a time machine and the possibility to see all press releases regarding tech development from the future. In short? An episode for the ages. 

Key takeaways from this episode: 

  • Why building teams is much more than just matching needs to skills 
  • How to lead teams by only asking the right questions 
  • How a story is the foundation on which a product is sold 

TLDR: Straight to the point
(Quick Links)

We all live busy lives, and sometimes a long podcast is too much of a time-footprint for our busy schedules. So, to help you get to the bit you’re more interested in, use our table of contents below. Quick links to help you get straight to the point.

Transform your technology organization with IT Labs teams.
Reach out to us.


Podcast: Doing better by learning more every day with Adam Dille

Adam Dille

Senior Vice President, Product and Engineering at Quantum Metric

Podcast – Episode 56:
Instilling a culture of continuous learning  

The ins and outs of running a team that practices Continuous Product Design

The pillar of IT Labs and many companies in the industry is learning. Constant development through new data and new tech, which in turn breeds innovation and creativity.

That’s exactly what our guest Adam Dille, Senior VP for Product and Engineering at Quantum Metric is focused on doing, as he helps companies deliver tech that has the potential to solve everyday problems, as well as make our lives easier! His focus on continued product/service development is what drives the company forward, all the while helping ambitious start-ups meet the light of day.

The better your product is – the more the end-user will expect from you. And a true leader will always anticipate these expectations and figure out how to meet them.

In this episode, we sat down with Adam to learn more about his journey, what he does, and how he maintains that learning-first culture in his teams. 

What we learned from Adam:  

  • How asking the right questions will always bring you closer to a solution  
  • Why looking at data from various perspectives helps deliver a more complete product  
  • How closely-knitted teams understand every single piece of the puzzle, even the ones outside their domain 

TLDR: Straight to the point
(Quick Links)

We all live busy lives, and sometimes a long podcast is too much of a time-footprint for our busy schedules. So, to help you get to the bit you’re more interested in, use our table of contents below. Quick links to help you get straight to the point.

Transform your technology organization with IT Labs teams.
Reach out to us.


Podcast: The business value of paying down technical debt with Vijay Venkatesh

Vijay Venkatesh

CTO at MakeSpace

Podcast – Episode 55:
The business value of paying down technical debt 

How good tech leaders balance the tech debt equation

For startups and established companies, it’s never just about crunching and creating and pushing a product or a service out – that’s why tech leaders must consider the short and long-term ramifications of every decision they make at every stage. We sat down with Vijay Venkatesh, a CTO and Product Development leader on various projects, shared his journey, and gave advice on finding the right balance in every aspect and process while leading teams in the tech world.

Creating a framework in which all teams in one project can contribute, produce, and be successful is what a tech leader should be all about.

Vijay’s enthusiasm and passion is the stuff tech leaders should be made of. Mix that up with his unwavering drive towards delivering high-quality products and his impeccable decision-making is something one can’t help but admire.

Key takeaways from the podcast: 

  • Quick ascent is all about adaptability and flexibility 
  • Constraints can solidify teams and make them more efficient 
  • Understanding the wishes and whims of customers and clients is a form of art 

TLDR: Straight to the point
(Quick Links)

We all live busy lives, and sometimes a long podcast is too much of a time-footprint for our busy schedules. So, to help you get to the bit you’re more interested in, use our table of contents below. Quick links to help you get straight to the point.

Transform your technology organization with IT Labs teams.
Reach out to us.


Podcast: Driving productivity with positivity at Belfast City Airport with Brian Roche

Brian Roche

Podcast – Episode 54:
Driving productivity with positivity at Belfast City Airport  

The story of leading with a deeper purpose that serves the business

In our episode with Brian Roche (Director of IT at Belfast City Airport), you can hear about his amazing journey which began with a job as a system administrator, then moving on to various positions in development and sales teams, before making the jump to executive positions. His goal and passion? To bring some simplicity to a world that is riddled with acronyms and complex structures – the tech world – and bring it closer to the average businessperson.

Translating technology speak into business language that everybody can understand and digest, is the responsibility of the leader. Trust lays at the foundation of any great product, and removing any obstacles will allow your team to amalgamate into a singular, high-performance unit.

One of the things that really hit the spot in our episode with Brian was his staunch support for understanding between all involved parties, and on all levels. Between business and tech, between seniors and juniors – between all teams that can meet when developing a product or a service. If tech leaders remove this language and understanding obstacle for their teams, the potential is right there. 

Key Takeaways from this episode: 

  • How education can help in the fight against cybersecurity threats 
  • Why it’s important to mentor young techies, and teach them about giving chances 
  • How technology can fail a business, and what leaders can do about it 

TLDR: Straight to the point
(Quick Links)

We all live busy lives, and sometimes a long podcast is too much of a time-footprint for our busy schedules. So, to help you get to the bit you’re more interested in, use our table of contents below. Quick links to help you get straight to the point.

Transform your technology organization with IT Labs teams.
Reach out to us.


Podcast: Flying on the wings of curiosity with Phil Wood

Phil Wood

Director of IT Service Delivery at easyJet

Podcast – Episode 53:
Flying on the wings of curiosity 

How the will to know mixed with trust and autonomy can take a business to the skies

Phil Wood is a man of many talents, all cored in his unabating curiosity. What started off as the need to know how things function and what they’re made off, led him to learn and develop, and eventually become the Director of IT Services at one of the most prominent airlines – easyJet.

His journey? A big pile of experience which has helped him develop his unique MO – approaching product and service development by looking at the core of the matter – the customer, and his wishes and needs, making them the cornerstone of every project he’s laid hands on.

Leading teams by example is one thing, but allowing them to do mistakes, lead themselves, assume responsibility and authority is the real deal – this is how you develop them as leaders, rather than just pieces of a well-oiled machine.

In this episode, Phil shared his advice and experience, ranging from his unique leadership style with which he allows teams to lead themselves by letting them take the responsibility and giving them freedom, all the way to creating feedback loops that help not just a service or a product in work, but also future R&D. 

All worth its weight in gold, we boiled down the episode to the following key takeaways: 

  • How to create high performing teams by allowing them to take on responsibility and authority;
  • Why are feedback loops important in the development process of a product or a service
  • How looking at the bigger picture and not just your product/service can help in ensuring end-to-end satisfaction for clients and customers. 

TLDR: Straight to the point
(Quick Links)

We all live busy lives, and sometimes a long podcast is too much of a time-footprint for our busy schedules. So, to help you get to the bit you’re more interested in, use our table of contents below. Quick links to help you get straight to the point.

Transform your technology organization with IT Labs teams.
Reach out to us.


Podcast: Digitalising Construction with Vicki Reynolds

Vicki Reynolds

CTO at i3PT & CertCentral

Podcast – Episode 47:
Digitalising Construction 

Creating accountability and compliance to prevent disasters like Grenfell Tower

We are pleased to be hosting another podcast with a tech leader in the construction industry. An industry that is ripe for innovation and digitalization. Our guest Vicki Reynolds, CTO at i3PT, is doing just that. In light of the disaster that unfolded here in the UK (the Grenfell Tower disaster), the construction industry is going under a much-needed update around standards, compliance, and auditing. Vicki, who originally started as an actress, found her fulfilment in solving big challenges in the industry. Her story and journey are interesting and inspiring.

The ultimate challenge in digitization and integrating tech in all industries is standardization. Figuring out a system in which all businesses can function will save time, money, and ultimately – human lives.

Key takeaways from the podcast: 

  • You will hear about the pain points of the building industry and the solutions that Vicki and i3PT have developed 
  • How digitizing the construction industry creates a better audit trail to save lives 
  • Why diversity of people in the industry is positively impacting how business is conducted. Confirming what many of us knew already. That people of different genders and ways of thinking was always good for business. 
  • You will hear how careers can take interesting routes. Vicki’s hunger to make things better and the love of solving big industry challenges have led her from a very different industry to a place of work she loves. 

TLDR: Straight to the point
(Quick Links)

We all live busy lives, and sometimes a long podcast is too much of a time-footprint for our busy schedules. So, to help you get to the bit you’re more interested in, use our table of contents below. Quick links to help you get straight to the point.

Transform your technology organization with IT Labs teams.
Reach out to us.